It's not hard to look around and see people up in arms about something. Christians and Non Christians alike cry out "We need to fix this or that problem, someone has to do something about it!" We even see prominent Christian Leaders jump in on major issues, and fight among themselves about what should or should not be done. Pick a cause, and likely you'll find a handful of Christian Leaders for and against it. But is this really helping impact the world for Christ? Is this making a difference for the Kingdom? I think that many leaders in the church have the right heart, but the wrong Idea in dealing with social issues. Misogyny, drugs, thievery, crime, racism, sexual orientation, the rights of the unborn, marital issues, and any other "social justice" issue are just fires people keep chasing and trying to put out. If we're just putting out fires without discovering why they're being lit in the first place, we're like dogs chasing our own tail. We go round, and round, and round, and yet never get anywhere. The real issue is the heart. You can change any social issue and not change the heart, and you're still no better off than where you began. The Heart of the Matter is lives without Jesus. Not fixing someone. Without Jesus there is no real fix. Without Jesus, we're just as bad as when we began, no matter what issue gets fixed. When it comes down to it, "Go and sin no more" is a greater response than rushing to put out fires. Seeking people where they're at to bring them to Jesus, as the four friends who cut the hole in the roof did, is more effective than protesting for or against something. Unless Jesus gets a hold of someone, their change is from one bad to another, and sometimes to the worse. We need to bring people to Jesus, HE is the healer, HE can fix people, HE can bring heart change. If we focus on Jesus and not issues, if we focus on the kingdom and no passing laws, if we focus on seeking the lost, and not our own agendas, we'll see God's Kingdom come, and His will be done.
Luke 5:17-39 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Son of Man Forgives and Heals
17 On one of those days while He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord’s power to heal was in Him. 18 Just then some men came, carrying on a mat a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before Him. 19 Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the mat through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.
20 Seeing their faith He said, “Friend,[a] your sins are forgiven you.”
21 Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think: “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts?[b] 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
25 Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe and said, “We have seen incredible things today!”
The Call of Matthew
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” 28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.
Dining with Sinners
29 Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests[c] with them. 30 But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
A Question about Fasting
33 Then they said to Him, “John’s disciples fast often and say prayers, and those of the Pharisees do the same, but Yours eat and drink.”[d]
34 Jesus said to them, “You can’t make the wedding guests[e] fast while the groom is with them, can you? 35 But the time[f] will come when the groom will be taken away from them—then they will fast in those days.”
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, not only will he tear the new, but also the piece from the new garment will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will spill, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine should be put into fresh wineskins.[g] 39 And no one, after drinking old wine, wants new, because he says, ‘The old is better.’”[h]
a. Luke 5:20 Lit Man
c. Luke 5:33 Other mss read “Why do John’s . . . drink?” (as a question)
d. Luke 5:34 Or the friends of the groom; lit sons of the bridal chamber
e. Luke 5:35 Lit days
f. Luke 5:38 Other mss add And so both are preserved.
g. Luke 5:39 Other mss read is good